For the first featured article of C&L new version, I’d like to introduce you to a very interesting discussion I had with Alexander James renowned Distil Ennui photographer. I met Alexander few weeks ago in London and here are some words we have exchanged about his work.
Emma: Why and when did you start photography?
Alex: I don’t know actually. We found a picture from me, I was about 4-5 years old walking close to a swimmingpool carrying a plastic camera without film just “click-click”, very funny polaroid. Anyway my education has nothing to do with my photography, I went to university for Computer Studies and Business Economics. I have no idea why but years later I was working as DIY Photographer when I started I was 19. I’m very lucky, I always had my own studio and moved all around in the world. I just go back to London and have been a while in New-York, Sydney, Tokyo and few months in Paris. I have lived everywhere for 12 years but I have just returned to London 18 months ago.
E: So you didn’t attend any photography studies?
A: No studies at all, just hard way.
E: In your work, the body in space is really important, could you talk about it for Taxi and Particule Parkour series?
*A*: The Taxi series is interesting for me because the person is not in the photograph. You pay a taxi to take you somewhere, people and city are all in interaction, it is like a dance of light. I really wanted to explore this interaction, I was standing in a very busy road, no tripod and just immersed myself. It’s an infinite subject and takes a very long time, unlimited ressource.
E: For me Particle Parkour reflects a blast of bodily energy, the body is really intense. Otherwise with the Taxi set, the body is underneath, hidden and protected.
A: Exactly. Particle Parkour is a totally different work. Parkour is a very moving sport, high energy, more delicate, very appealing and emotional. It is a freezing shot but with particles like water and powder as an explosion of energy. Hopefully that is not boring, I’m trying to stop people to look at videos and made them explore something else.
E: You link body and environment as society subject.
A: I want to break down barrieres between body and urbanism. Everything is so restrictive, direction, time, all the time we have to confront restrictions. I find society has enough of this and want release to go towards Essence. Even if I’m to shy to run naked on the street I’m trying to feel relax.
E: What are your projects?
A: Well, we changed my business drastically six months ago. I never used to show my work, I especially never talked about my work, I have done only three interviews in over twenty years. This year we launched my new portfolio, the stock library, the blog and we have lots of exhibitions in the pipeline. We took part of The Art Mosh exhibition in Paris which moves to Milan and London very soon. So the last few months have been exciting and I am so surprised that people find my life and work so interesting!
Many thanks Alex and all the best for 2010.